Um…He has a what…..?!?! by Jessica Warren

My phone rang and I immediately recognized the number. “Hello Doctor! I am supposed to have a follow up appointment with you next week, so the fact that you are calling me two hours after the MRI can’t be a good thing.” I laughed. “I’m so sorry to have to tell you this. Are you sitting down?” “Yes go ahead.” I stood at the top of my stairs thinking I didn’t need to sit down. “It’s a tumor.” I heard the doctor’s words loud and clear. “Ok…uh-huh…a what?” “He has a tumor.” “Oh ok. Wow. Ok. A tumor. Ok. A what?” “Yes. It’s a tumor. I’m so sorry to have to deliver this news to you.” “Oh no, it’s fine…don’t worry about it.” I mechanically said. He continued to talk. His voice sounded underwater. I sat down at this point at the top of my stairs feeling as though time was standing still. I looked over to the toy room and saw my little boy playing. “Choo-choo!!” His beautiful white curls fell over his eyes as he pushed a little steam engine across the floor. I finished talking to the doctor and simply sat there watching Zayne play. He was in a world of his own. Right now it was play time for him. Life was good. He was home. He was comfortable. He was safe. As I watched him I couldn’t help but wonder about the foreign body that threatened my amazing little man. Would life still be good? Would he still be safe? I got up and walked down to my room. I stepped over to my dresser and looked at myself in the mirror. What just happened? He has a tumor. My sub-conscious responded. Right. The doctor said he has a tumor. Weird. I picked up my phone and dialed my husband who was in Oklahoma on business and was getting ready to fly home that night. His phone went to voicemail. Wait. What did the doctor say? He has a brain tumor, an optic glioma. My sub-conscious responded again. Right. I looked again at my phone. I wanted to call my sister. No, she has Ayden. I don’t want her to drive with my kid after that kind of news. What horrible news that is. A brain tumor?? Yes…he said he sent a referral to the Neuro-opthamologist to talk about what your next step is. Right. I called my cousin Katie. “Katie…I need you to listen to me.” “Jessie… are you ok?” “Zayne has a brain tumor. I have to go.” “Oh no…I’m so sorry…I will be praying…I love you.” I hung up the phone and tried my husband again. Voicemail. I started to feel my chest become heavy. I felt my anger rise hearing his voicemail. Time no longer stood still. My breath became short and my vision unfocused. I slumped to my knees. I considered calling my mom. No she is in Battle Creek. This could give her another heart attack. She could get in a car wreck. No. I dialed Reba…my other mom. With every ring life became all too real. The shock had worn off and I was officially going into panic mode. “Hey!!” She answered in a voice that sounded excited to hear from me. “Reba….” “Jessie what’s wrong?” “It’s a tumor….it’s a tumor…OH GOD…HE HAS A TUMOR…I CAN’T BREATHE, I CAN’T BREATHE…HELP ME…help me.” I began to sob, holding the phone to me ear as someone who has been stranded in the sea would cling to a life raft. Tears began to pour out my eye’s, my body shook with every ragged breath I took. I felt as though it wasn’t helping. The more sobs I let out the more I felt well up with a need to break out. I have no control. I can do nothing. This little being that was entrusted to me by the Almighty, this little bundle that has brought so much laughter and joy to us, I have no options. I can’t just snuggle with him and wait for the clouds to blow by. This we have to fight. And I don’t even know the first step to fighting this battle. “Jessie…who is with you?” “Nobody, Jake is in Oklahoma. Jamie is home but she has Ayden, I don’t want her to drive, and mom…” “Ok listen, Jamie will be fine. You need to call her.” “He has a tumor Reba.” My sobs came down to helpless whimpers and exhausted breaths. “My boy has a tumor.” “I know sweetie…oh God…I’m so sorry.” I dialed my sister’s number. “Jessie!” She said laughing getting ready to tell me a funny story before saying hello. I interrupted her. “Jamie.” She got quiet. “It’s a tumor.” “I’m on my way.” Before she hung up the phone I heard her commanding voice say “Everyone in the van now.” I knew she would be on a mission and Ayden would be safe. As I put the phone down Zayne walked into my room with his bink in his mouth holding a little toy car. He loves little things he can carry around. He walked over to me as I sat there a pile of mush. My face wet and stained with tears. He looked at me. “Mommy?” “Yeah baby?” I tried to sound as strong as I possibly could and managed to give him the shrug of a smile. He gave me his car and toddled back down the hall to his toy room. He knows. He is always sensitive to my emotions. And for some reason I felt as though He was being strong for me. The rest of the day seemed to be far away. My sister came and we didn’t really talk a lot. We sat outside and soaked up the warm sunshine. We sat in silence. Both of our minds running. We would say things here and there. But that’s how we got through things. My sister seems to know me. She gives me my space and simply stands next to me for support. She knows when I need something…I’ll ask. My mom also came. She walked out onto my deck and simply sat down and enjoyed the sun with us. Not one of us needing anything but to be together and let the warmth of the sun remind us we were still alive.